For as long as I have been training people in natural healing and wellbeing, nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals have been among my thousands of students. But in the last few months, the number of students from this field has surged. Class after class, we see the same pattern: as people introduce themselves and share what brings them in, more and more say that they work in the health system and are burned out and exhausted.
Take Linda, for example. A chemo infusion unit nurse, she was in tears describing how, since the beginning of the pandemic, she has tried to keep her family together while working long hours and dealing with many challenges. With so many patients whose care has been delayed, she doesn’t take breaks, not even for lunch. She said she just runs like mad. “It wears me out to the very depth of my soul,” she said. “That’s why I’m here. I was hoping that the Reiki can help me.”
Not everyone works in hospitals. Those in other health care settings are just as exhausted from their daily work with the many people suffering from physical and mental problems related to stress and the pandemic’s long-term consequences.
Many health care workers are empaths. An empath absorbs and feels other people’s energy, their emotions, and sometimes their physical symptoms. If you are an empath, you are a magnet or a sponge for other people’s stuff.
Everyone is an empath to some extent. We are energetic beings. We pick up energy from around us.
But some of us are more sensitive than others. We care, feel, want to help and fix, and lack emotional boundaries that are absolutely necessary to serve others effectively. If you are an empath, you are so sensitive to the energy around you that you either take it on or shut down completely.
Health care workers, the intensity in the world right now is affecting you as well. Not only are you dealing with sick people, including their trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but also with your own trauma—and the collective PTSD we are all experiencing in our current reality.
It took me years of inner work to learn how to create emotional boundaries and live as an empowered strong empath. Even though I am not a nurse or medical doctor, I’m a social worker, professional life coach, Reiki Master, and Intuitive Transformation Mentor. I have supported many people through the pandemic. I maintain solid practices of self care that help me recharge daily. And yet, I found myself exhausted and drained at the onset of the pandemic. I had to make radical changes and elevate my self-care practice so that I could continue to support others. I can only imagine the extraordinary amount of stress, frustration, and hopelessness felt by those of you who are saving lives every day. (I talk more about our role as sources of light to others in my blog post, “How to Be a Lighthouse in the Midst of the Storm.”)
Now back to you, health care worker.
I speak on behalf of many women in our Beacons of Change community when I say this:
You’re a natural giver.
You take care of patients at your own expense.
You’re not good at being kind to yourself
You try really hard to keep your family together.
You often ask yourself if you can get through this.
Feeling exhausted and drained has become your default.
You overwork. You don’t sleep enough. You lack joy.
You are being asked to do more with less.
Some days you work nonstop, hardly having time to eat or…breathe.
It’s really hard to leave work and be with “regular” people who live normal lives.
You save lives.
We thank you for this work.
But we want you to take better care of yourself.
We want you to fill up your cup.
We know that it seems impossible when work is so demanding.
And we can’t help you change your reality.
But we can help you feel better.
We will never be able to understand exactly how you feel, yet we care and have empathy for you.
We can help you feel clearer. Restored. Slowed down. Virtually hugged.
It’s time to pause and care for yourself.
Join your like-minded peers and the Beacons of Change team for this FREE event that is open to all health care workers
RECEIVE AND RECHARGE: A Virtual Gathering for Health Care Workers
Self-care is not a luxury for you. It’s a necessity. Join us, and fill up your cup.
With gratitude and love,